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Surface Characterization of NbO Islands Formed on Nb(100) by X-Ray Photoelectron Diffraction

Abstract

An ordered thin film of niobium oxide (NbO) was formed on the Nb(100) surface by heating the niobium single crystal at 1023 K for 2 min under an oxygen atmosphere. The surface composition was analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and the surface structure was characterized by low energy electron diffraction (LEED) and X-ray photoelectron diffraction (XPD) generated by synchrotron radiation. Annealing at 1223 K in ultra-high vacuum yielded a reconstructed (3 × 1) LEED pattern. XPS measurements indicated that the surface comprised of metallic and oxidized niobium species. The comparison between experimental and theoretical XPD results indicated that 60% of the Nb(100) surface was covered by two-layered nanoislands of NbO, and 40% had bare patches.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the Brazilian research agencies Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo – FAPESP and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico – CNPq, for financial support, Fapeg-Pronem 07/2016 (23187), and the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory – LNLS (proposal # SGM 16978).

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Correspondence to A. Pancotti.

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Pancotti, A., Wang, J., Rezende, A.C.S.A. et al. Surface Characterization of NbO Islands Formed on Nb(100) by X-Ray Photoelectron Diffraction. Top Catal 61, 784–791 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11244-018-0946-x

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Keywords

  • Niobium
  • Niobium oxide
  • Surface reconstruction
  • X-ray photoelectron diffraction